On June 26, 2012, I had the privilege of addressing the women of White Cross at Central Presbyterian Church. This is a lovely group of about 35 women from teens to older adults who roll bandages in the summer for hospitals in underprivileged countries. Women in Ministry at the church sponsors the group. They have a weekly speaker every Tuesday morning and luncheon after their labors with rolling bandages.

My talk was about how we are drawn to stories, particularly the before and after stories of people who have overcome an obstacle and inspired others. We often look to the Bible for characters who inspire us to live better lives. Those stories are meant to tell us more about the larger story of Christ reflected in the whole of scripture. Dan Allender’s book, To Be Told, was mentioned as a great resource for learning to tell out stories well. We all have stories that are meant to be shared with others — not simply “once I was lost and now I’m found” but the rich stories of our lives are changed daily by the gospel.

One way to tell our stories is to use a before and after word for our character similar to the names of the characters in a book like Pilgrim’s Progress. I gave an example from my personal life on how I went from being Useful to being Enjoyed. Several of the women came up to me afterwards and said they were going to think about similar names from their personal lives to share with their group. I wish them well in building their community with each other in this way.